When you’re a widow who takes the Word at face value, life becomes interesting.
Filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, I’ve referred to that ancient text, the person of Truth and Peace, through every financial hurdle, relationship wound and sleepless nights in hospitals hoping God would spare my one perfect gift in life from death.
The past nineteen years have been nothing short of hell on earth coupled with moments of hope, joy and peace. I could lie and say it’s been all faith building and maybe when I see God face to face He will allow me to see the faith built in moments of complete and utter despair, but it has left me exhausted, exasperated and looking forward to a new season.
Today is Mother’s Day. This past Friday was my daughter’s college graduation. They are not mutually exclusive. Every day is Mother’s Day. I celebrate this office more than any other I’ve served. I’ve served my daughter to the best of my ability. She will now serve the world around her to the best of hers. That was my goal.
When I dropped her here on this coast of political rebellion, I cried for the 4.5 hour flight back to Atlanta. I was about to bury my other treasure in life, my father. He died the day my daughter showed up for her first college class on a campus 2200 miles away from home with 30,000 other students. God decided to take him home on my daughter’s birthday, at the exact moment she was born 18 years earlier. Yeh, you could say it was challenging. I wasn’t sure how much more I could take.
The past four years have been nothing short of a challenge, but my daughter is in tact. As am I. We made it.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her little face light up as bright as it did when she got up to walk across the stage to receive her degree. It was magical. It was the look of hard work completed well. It was an accomplishment no one could take away from her. She earned it. Socially, mentally, academically, I’ve watched my daughter become a well rounded, confident, resourceful human.
USC for all it’s liberal hoobly goobly, has done an outstanding job teaching her how to think critically and find connections between various disciplines. In questioning just about everything I raised her to believe, she had the liberty to discover for herself that I wasn’t far off. Can you tell I’m proud?
She was surrounded by friends and loved ones who have poured into her life on many levels. Her 84 year old grandfather represented her father’s absence. He had not seen the sea since his fourth tour in Vietnam. He also had not been on an aircraft in over 50 years. Real sacrifices were made by all to stand in solidarity with the choice my little one made when she felt she was being directed by God to move 2200 miles a way from home to study. Yes, God and I were not friends for a few months. But I’ve seen the pay off.
Why do I share such intimate details with you? Because they matter. They are not foreign to any of us a parents. The sleepless nights, the tension, the uncertainty and hope that they will achieve more than we did. That somehow we can protect them from the worst in life and trust God with our tears and prayers. I’m here to tell you, as my life as witness, that you can.
As hard as it may be, as unlikely as a promising outcome may be, don’t you ever, ever, ever give up on them. Don’t ever doubt the Creator has them in His line of sight. Don’t ever doubt that He knew you were the trustee of His precious creation knowing your frailties, your addictions and shortcomings. He knew you would need to cry out to assist with this thing called parenting.
What a blessing. Motherhood. I totally see what Paul was saying when he said “we would be saved through childbirth”. My child has taught me more about life, love, forgiveness, selflessness and the purity of sacrifice. She has been the face of God to me many times and I to her.
I don’t know what actual adulthood will look like for us. No longer a student of academia, she is now free to study life. I am now free to walk beside her and live mine.
Happy Mother’s Day to you. I pray the peace of God rest abundantly on your family and joy illumines your homes. If there are sacrifices to make, make them. If there are apologies to express, confess them. In as much as it lies within you to be at peace with your children, strive for it. Make order a priority and teach them to fail well. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Want to make the world a better place? Start with them.